Is the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis at last paying dividends? (2004)

Author(s): Cousins DA, Young AH

    Abstract: Psychiatry is the medical specialty concerned with pathological human psychology. Throughout its history, attempts have been made to explain psychological experiences in terms of neurophysiology and neuropathology. Such practice is probably overly reductionistic, as it is not legitimate to explain all psychological problems in terms of biological processes (Fish 1967). Even if the mind-brain debate concludes in favour of materialism, the subjective experience of consciousness will remain. What then is the role of biological psychiatry? Biological psychiatry has two main purposes: to understand the pathophysiology of psychiatric illness, and to use that understanding to develop therapeutic strategies. Some of the progress made in these regards will be the subject of this chapter, with specific reference to the HPA axis in bipolar affective disorder.

      • Conference Name: European Foundation for Psychiatry at the Maudsley
      • Publisher: Martin Dunitz Press
      • Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. abstract)
      • Bibliographic status: Published

        Dr David Cousins
        MRC Clinician Scientist